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Cognition in degenerative ataxias - neuropsychological profile of the Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome

Degenerative cerebellar ataxias are complex and heterogeneous diseases defined by a range of debilitating motor and non-motor symptoms. These include cognitive deficits, described within the Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome (CCAS). However, our understanding of the profile and trajectory of cognitive abnormalities in these conditions remains limited. This project will aim to: ● Investigate the cognitive profile of degenerative ataxias through in-depth, longitudinal neuropsychological testing, computerised testing, and the application of cognitive screening tools ● Develop criteria for identification of CCAS through neuropsychological testing ● Evaluate how cognitive performance is related to other aspects of neurodegenerative ataxias such as motor function, activities of daily living, and quality of life This project is suited to Clinical Neuropsychology PhD candidates. This research project will be co-supervised by Dr Louisa Selvadurai (psychologist, clinical neuropsychology registrar) and Associate Professor Ian Harding (neuroscientist). Students will have the opportunity to work with local and international clinical and research collaborators, and be embedded in the Ataxia Center of Excellence at the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
neurodegeneration, cerebellum, ataxia, neurology, neuropsychology, psychology, cognition, cognitive testing, neuropsychological testing,
School of Psychological Sciences
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
18 Innovation Walk
Assoc Prof 
Ian Harding

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